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You Make the Call

May 04, 2008

David L. Ulin wrote that Joe Torre "isn't a legend but a person . . ." ("A Legend on the Line," April 6). Let's see. The Yankees had not won a World Series in 18 years and yet won in Torre's first year at the Yankees helm. He followed with 11 playoff appearances, nine division titles, five American League pennants and three World Series titles. And Ulin writes, "Torre must guide the Dodgers to their first pennant in 20 years to secure his place in baseball history."

Still, Ulin adds that Torre's record with the Yankees "is matched only by those of Casey Stengel and Joe McCarthy, two of the most iconic figures ever to manage a baseball team." I looked up iconic in the dictionary: "iconic, an object of uncritical devotion, idol." So Torre's the match with Stengel and McCarthy? That's good enough for me.

I was getting ready for an Angels game with Torre, my broadcast partner, in 1985 when he was summoned to Gene Autry's office. The Angels owner told him the St. Louis Cardinals had asked for permission to talk to Torre about managing their team. Torre wasn't sure what to do. So I asked him: "Are you are a manager or are you a broadcaster?" He might have made the right decision.

Charlie Jones

La Jolla

Charlie Jones is a sports broadcaster.

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